Dog in snowWith winter’s chill biting most of the country, it seems appropriate that we remember some safeguards while traveling with pets in frigid weather. When not adequately prepared, pet travel can be a challenge at any time, but in cold weather, there are things you can do to ensure you keep your pets safe and sound.

  • It’s best to keep cats indoors. Felines can freeze if not properly protected from the winter elements. If allowed to stray, they can also become exposed to infectious diseases, such as rabies, which they can get from animals.
  • When bathing your dog in cold weather, make sure you dry him completely before allowing him back outside or taking for a walk. And never have your dog sheared down to the skin in winter. A longer, thicker coat will keep him warmer.
  • Be sure to pay attention to any spills or leaks of coolant or anti-freeze in your driveway or garage. They are lethal poisons for dogs and cats.
  • When your dog comes inside from being in the snow, sleet or ice, be sure to thoroughly wipe off his legs and underside. Salt, anti-freeze or other chemicals can be ingested from licking his paws.
  • To try to stay warm, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars in the winter. A cat can be injured or killed by the car’s fan belt if it doesn’t have time to escape before the car is started. If you park outside and live in an area where there are outdoor cats, be sure to bang loudly on your car hood before you start the engine to give any resting felines a chance to get away!
  • Many companion canines are lost during the winter than any other month. If traveling where there is snow or ice on the ground, don’t let your dog off his leash, especially in a snowstorm. He can lose his scent and become lost. Make sure you have an I.D. tag on your pet, which contains your cell phone number since someone is more likely to be able to contact you quicker than on your home phone number.
  • Don’t leave pets alone in the car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing pets to freeze to death.

By keeping these cold weather tips in mind, you can protect your pets from the elements of winter weather.

Happy Pet Travels!

Tom James


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